In this mini workshop today I will be writing about how to create characters for writing. Now when you are writing, if you just write poetry, you can get caught up in the character of you, which is fantastic and helpful, sometimes, but not always. So to externalise that we can make a character to write about and get inside another person’s head so that we can love or kill who ever we like and not go to jail for killing someone. Or on more positive note fall in love with someone or something, and tell people about events.
The steps are these –
1) Draw, or if you can’t draw write, a series of characteristics. So for example this is Charlie Smith who has blonde hair and green eyes. Charlie likes fish and chips, salad and wears a baseball cap that says Bournemouth on it.
These are the little things that describe who we all are, but try to avoid using yours for this exercise and get out of your physical being. Only breathe into your head and mind. I know that sounds very arty farty but however you’re writing, let your mind be in control in a way that your physical being allows it to. Relaxed and get ready to write.
2) Think of a place that your character might be. This could be anywhere. Do the same as step 1 for the place. Draw or write the main points that make the place what it is. Add colour, shapes, objects, maybe think about the weather too.
3) Start writing with that place and character in mind. Start writing your story, or play. It doesn’t have to follow any rules, it can be whatever you want it to be, but just start.
If you are at home with a young eye gaze or communication aid user this can easily be turned into an exercise for them, by facilitating them to build a character. Hopefully they will feel motivated to just start writing, but if they don’t you can encourage them to write by asking them what their character would say or do. Most writing is a structure of call and response. So if you get them them responding to your prompts, they will hopefully naturally call back. You could even write your own along with them.
Those are my top tips for people who want to start writing more than just poetry, but I will also write a blog about writing poetry next. Let me know how you get on, or if you have any writing tips of your own.